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8 Nov 2005 : Column 348W—continued

Proceeds of Crime Act

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the timetable is for introducing Orders in Council under Part Eleven of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002; and if he will make a statement. [24630]

Paul Goggins [holding answer 3 November 2005]: The Order for co-operation between the United Kingdom jurisdictions was introduced in 2002 (S.I. 2002/3133).
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The Government intend to lay the Order to enable international co-operation in the freezing and confiscation of the proceeds of crime in the next few weeks, with a view to having the legislation in place by the end of the year. The Order to facilitate international co-operation in financial investigations will follow in the new year.

Protection Programmes

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on progress with pilot protection programmes outside the EU which are due to be launched by the end of 2005. [20274]

Mr. McNulty: On 12 October 2005, the Justice and Home Affairs Council endorsed draft council conclusions, to be formally adopted at the General Affairs and External Relations Council on 7 November 2005, which support the European Commission's proposals for pilot regional protection programmes in the western newly independent states (Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus) and sub-Saharan Africa (in particular the Great Lakes/East Africa). The conclusions invite the Commission to inform the Council of detailed programmes for the implementation of these proposed pilots by the end of November 2005.

Readmission Agreements

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the readmission agreements with third countries to be signed by the EU. [20275]

Mr. McNulty: As the current EU presidency, the UK attaches a high priority to the conclusion of readmission negotiations between the EU and international partner countries. Negotiations with Russia were finalised in time for the EU-Russia summit on 4 October. We intend to support the European Commission to make substantial progress in the negotiation of other agreements.


John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the 10 countries from which most refugees originated in 2004. [18752]

Mr. McNulty: Information on grants of asylum at initial decision is published quarterly and annually. The information requested is published in the annual bulletin Asylum Statistics United Kingdom 2004. Copies are available from the Library of the House and on the Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate website at

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on EU co-operation with third countries in order to manage and reduce the intake of refugees into the EU. [20273]

Mr. McNulty: The Hague multi-annual programme, which was endorsed by the European Council on 4 and 5 November 2004, sets out the EU's work plan for strengthening the area of freedom, security and justice over the next five years and includes an EU strategy on the external dimension of asylum and migration. This
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covers co-operation with third countries in managing migration and asylum; development of EU regional protection programmes and the intensified co-operation with countries of transit to enable these countries to better manage migration and to provide adequate protection for refugees. The UK strongly supports work in this area and has taken it forward as a matter of priority under its presidency of the EU.

Schlumberger Sema Ltd.

Mark Fisher: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish the minutes of meetings between his Officials and Schlumberger Sema Ltd. [11149]

Mr. McNulty: The majority of meetings between departmental Officials and Schlumberger Sema Ltd. (SS) have been within its relationships between the Home Office Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND).

IND meetings took place in the context of three separate commercial relationships:

Other meetings also took place between Home Office (Centre) and Schlumberger Sema Ltd. (SS) in respect of the HOITS (Home Office IT Services) contract; from the formation of SS in 2001 through to the end of the HOITS contract on 31 March 2002 and then for a further short-term contract of a few months for support of the RDS and IND INDECS mainframe services until these were absorbed into the Sirius IT2000 agreement.

The engagement between IND and Schlumberger Sema Ltd. (SS) resulted in significant quantities of recorded minutes, covering all aspects of the working relationships.

Consideration could be given to making minutes of meetings or action plans available to address a specific query, subject to commercial confidentiality or disproportionate cost.

Sex Offenders

Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what reciprocal arrangements exist between the UK and (a) Northern and (b) Southern Cyprus on the exchange of information regarding the travel of those who have committed sex offences; and if he will make a statement. [13249]

Andy Burnham: The UK does not recognise Northern Cyprus. There are no formal arrangements in place to directly exchange information on those who have committed sexual offences.

No reciprocal measures exist between the UK and the Republic of Cyprus (southern Cyprus). However, in the UK, offenders who are subject to the notification requirements of Part two of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (which are often known as the sex offenders register) must notify the police of any intention to travel
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overseas for a period of three days or more. When an offender notifies his intention to travel overseas the local police force will make a judgment as to whether, in their opinion, the authorities in the country concerned should be informed that the offender is travelling. If they decide that they should, then this information is passed to the National Criminal Intelligence Service who will then inform the destination country if there are reasonable grounds for believing that the offender will present a risk of offending within that community. The Republic of Cyprus does not have a similar requirement on offenders and so they would not routinely know if an offender was planning to travel, and would not be able to inform the UK.

The UK or the Republic of Cyprus may also request criminal record information on a national of the other state under the terms of the 1959 Council of Europe Mutual Legal Assistance Convention and the EU Council Decision on the exchange of information on extracted from the criminal record.

Tasar Stun Guns

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many times the Metropolitan police has (a) deployed and (b) used Tasar stun guns in each of the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. [21716]

Hazel Blears: The Commissioner for the Metropolitan police has provided the information in the table.
Metropolitan police—Deployment of Taser

October 20042132
November 20041681
December 20041742
January 20051481
February 20051572
March 20051762
April 20052414
May 20052625
June 20052642
July 20053013
August 20052682
September 20052732
October 2005(8)450

(8) up to 7 October

TOGETHER Action Line

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many calls have been received by the TOGETHER ActionLine in each month since its inception; and if he will make a statement. [21980]

Hazel Blears: The total number of inquiries received by the TOGETHER ActionLine since its inception in February 2004 to September 2005 is 13,845. 11,878 phone calls were received and 1,967 e-mails.

The overall monthly average number of inquiries including calls and e-mails is 694.

The TOGETHER ActionLine is a separate service which provides help and advice to practitioners to improve their response to antisocial behaviour. The
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ActionLine, complimented by the TOGETHER website helps practitioners to become confident in using the powers available to them and gives them access to innovative and creative solutions and enables them to network and share knowledge and successes.

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